Onnoghen convicted, ordered to forfeit over N46m to FG
The Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT on Thursday, convicted the former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, on all the six-count charge of false and non-asset declaration.
As part of the sentence delivered by a three-man panel led by Danladi Umar, Onnoghen is to forfeit to the federal government, all the monies that were found in five bank accounts that he had failed to declare as part of his assets, be forfeited to FG.
An official of Standard Chartered Bank, Ifeoma Okeagbue, who testified as the third prosecution witness during the trial gave details of the five different accounts.
According to Okeagbue, in December 2018, the first account 5001062686, had a closing balance of €10,187.18.
The second account 5001062693, had a closing balance of N12,852,580.52.
Another account 5001062679, had a closing balance of £13,730.70.
In account 0001062667, the closing balance as of December 2018 was N2,656,019.21.
While the fifth account 0001062650, had a balance was $56,878.”
In addition, the tribunal stripped Onnoghen of his position as CJN, as chairman of the National Judicial Council and as Chairman of the Federal Judicial Service Commission (FJSC).
Onnoghen would not be eligible to hold any public office the next 10 years
Umar held that Onnoghen’s inability to explain how he amassed “huge amounts of money in his accounts”, was an indication that the funds were acquired illegally.
The tribunal also struck out the two pending applications brought by Onnoghen for lacking merit.
The first application was challenging the jurisdiction of the tribunal to hear the matter. The second application filled was a prayer asking the tribunal chairman, Umar, to recuse himself from the trial on grounds that he is under the control of the state and would not be fair to the defendant. Also on grounds that he (Umar) has a pending case with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
Umar held that the tribunal has jurisdiction to try the defendant without the approval of the NJC.
Ruling on his recusal from the trial, Umar saidthe defendant cannot prove any case against him as the charges
preferred by the EFCC has long been withdrawn
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